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House Set To OK ‘Certificate Of Need’ Repeal

Florida House of Representatives
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

The House could vote as early as Wednesday to repeal the "certificate of need" regulatory process for building hospitals, an issue backed by House Republican leaders and Gov. Rick Scott.

But with less than three weeks left in the regular legislative session, the Senate version of the bill has not been heard in committees.

The House on Tuesday took up its bill (HB 7) and positioned it for a vote. The so-called CON process, which has long been controversial, requires hospitals to get approval from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration before building new facilities and opening some new programs. It also frequently touches off litigation in the hospital industry about whether new facilities and programs should be approved.

Rep. Daisy Baez, D-Coral Gables, asked Tuesday about evidence or data that indicates there is a "compelling need" to eliminate certificates of need. But Rep. Alex Miller, a Sarasota Republican sponsoring the House bill, argued that certificates of need do not improve health care and described the CON law as "antiquated."